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Category Archives: Books & Media

Q&A: The First Woman to Win ‘Alone’ Endured a Wet and Icy Hell

In late July, producers of The History Channel’s hit survival/reality show Alone debuted a spinoff series that promised to be an even greater test of grit and wilderness skill than the original format. Called Alone: Frozen, the series handpicked six previous contestants and then dropped them onto a barren stretch of Labrador, Canada’s remote Atlantic […]

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This Film About a 40-Year-Old Avalanche Helped Me Process My Own Trauma

It’s been 40 years since former avalanche forecaster Jim Plehn dug his friends’ bodies out of the snow. A massive avalanche had crashed into the base area of Alpine Meadows ski resort, near Lake Tahoe in Northern California, after a four-day, late-season storm had dumped seven-and-a-half feet of snow and brought 100-mile-per-hour winds to the […]

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Everyone Wanted to Make a Movie About the Thai Cave Rescue. Did Any of Them Get It Right?

On June 23, 2018, twelve members of the Wild Boars, a youth soccer team based in the jungled mountains of northern Thailand, and their young assistant coach parked their bikes in the mouth of Tham Luang Cave after practice. The cave network was dry when they entered, but as they traveled more than a mile […]

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In ‘Edge of the Earth,’ Jimmy Chin Goes Beyond the Instagram Wins and Fails of Elite Athletes

In 2018, when Free Solo was busy breaking box office records and blowing minds, Jimmy Chin—who shot the film and directed it with his wife and collaborator Elizabeth “Chai” Vasarhelyi—was getting the same question a lot: How was Alex Honnold not paralyzed by fear as he clung to the face of El Capitan without a […]

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The 20 Best Climbing Films of All Time

Not so long ago, the headline “Dirtbag Rock Climbers Walk Down the Red Carpet to Accept Their Academy Award” would have seemed like an oxymoron—a violation of the very laws of nature. But in 2019 it happened: light stopped being the fastest thing in the universe, up became down, and a little rock-climbing film called Free […]

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A New Podcast Shows the Dark Side of Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Hunt

Forrest Fenn’s treasure could bring out the worst in people. Few know that better than journalist and former Outside Podcast host Peter Frick-Wright, who first wrote about the late millionaire’s hidden chest—and the obsessives who searched for it—for Outside magazine in 2015. That feature story, “On the Hunt for America’s Last Great Treasure,” wasn’t the […]

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3 New Survival Thrillers That Almost Made Us Poop Our Pants

It’s been a slow summer for Hollywood, but there’s been no shortage of monosyllabically titled thrillers set in the outdoors. Prey started streaming on Hulu last month, Fall hit theaters on August 12, and Beast premiered last Friday. All three films are human vs. nature (or alien?) stories designed to prickle the sweat glands underneath […]

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Cheryl Strayed on the 1995 Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike That Changed Everything

A decade ago, Cheryl Strayed had $85,000 in credit-card debt. She was a working mom taking care of two small children and grabbing whatever time she could to write. In April of 2012, while on a book tour for her new memoir, she got a text from her husband saying the rent check had bounced. […]

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Here’s Every Movie in Which Dwayne Johnson Walks into a Jungle

When I was laid up with COVID-19 earlier this summer (a two-week period that I like to call “Netflix and ill”), I noticed something: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appears in a lot of jungle-themed movies. They’re almost a natural habitat for his typical on-screen personas: he swings machetes, he fights dangerous wildlife, he raises one […]

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